accidents & injuries (tort law)
A legal standard used in negligence (personal injury) cases. The hypothetical reasonable person behaves in a way that is legally appropriate. Those who do not meet this standard -- that is, they do not behave at least as a reasonable person would -- are considered negligent and may be held liable for damages caused by their actions.
A legal doctrine that prevents people who are injured as a result of military service from successfully suing the federal government under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The doctrine comes from the U.S. Supreme Court case Feres v. United States, in which servicemen who picked up highly radioactive weapons fragments from a crashed airplane were not permitted to recover damages from the government. Also known as the Feres-Stencel doctrine or the Feres rule.
A death caused by the wrongful act of another, either accidentally or intentionally. A claim for wrongful death is made by a family member of a deceased person to obtain compensation for having to live without that person. The compensation is intended to cover the earnings and the emotional comfort and support the deceased person would have provided.
State statutes that 1) require employers to purchase insurance to protect their workers and 2) establish the liability of employers for injuries to workers while on the job or illnesses due to the employment. Workers' compensation is not based on the negligence of the employer; benefits are granted regardless of fault and include medical coverage, a percentage of lost wages, costs of retraining, and compensation for any permanent injury. Coverage does not include general damages for pain and suffering.
A program that provides medical care and replacement income to employees who are injured or become ill due to their jobs. Financial benefits may also extend to the survivors of workers who are killed on the job. In most circumstances, workers' compensation pays relatively modest amounts and prevents the worker or survivors from suing the employer for the injuries or death.
A harmful act that is committed in an intentional and conscious way. For example, if your neighbor builds an ugly new fence and you intentionally mow it down with your truck, that's a willful tort. But carelessly backing into the fence as you pull out of your driveway is not willful, though it's still a tort. Compare: negligence
A neck or back injury common in car accidents, whiplash occurs when the body is suddenly restrained (usually by a seatbelt), and the sudden stop causes the head to jerk, injuring the neck.
(voh-len-tI non fit in-joor-ee) Latin for "to a willing person, no injury is done." This doctrine holds that a person who knowingly and willingly puts himself in a dangerous situation cannot sue for any resulting injuries.